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Top Beaches in Cairns & the Tropical North

Top Beaches in Cairns & the Tropical North

With swaying palms and blue waters teeming with tropical fish, Queensland’s tropical north is home to some of Australia’s most picturesque beaches. To help you find the perfect seaside paradise, here are some of the best beaches around Cairns

Trinity Beach

Just a 20-minute drive north of downtown Cairns, Trinity Beach is a family favorite for its calm swimming waters, powder-soft sands, and scenic coastal walks. Visit during summer or school holidays and you’ll find plenty of water sports and other activities to keep the kids entertained.

Palm Cove

Just north of Trinity, Palm Cove is the pick of Cairns’ northern beaches, with lifeguard-patrolled areas offering safe swimming all year-round. The seafront promenade is lined with shopping boutiques, chic cafés, and luxury restaurants, while active types can rent kayaks or paddleboards, or cruise out to Double Island. 

Four Mile Beach

With its—you guessed it— four miles of sandy beach and gentle surf, Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas is another great choice for families, with plenty of activities on offer. After trying your hand at surfing or kitesurfing, hike up to Flagstaff Hill for a magnificent ocean view, or check out the lively Port Douglas Markets.

Cape Tribulation Beach

Surrounded by the wild landscapes of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Daintree Rainforest and the vibrant corals of the Great Barrier Reef, Cape Tribulation Beach is a photographer’s dream with its pristine beach and startling blue waters. After checking out the natural wonders, head to nearby Emmagen Beach to swim and sunbathe away from the crowds.

Green Island

One of the most easily accessible islands in the Great Barrier Reef National Park, Green Island can be visited on a half- or full-day cruise from Cairns. You’ll probably spend most of your time snorkeling or diving the coastal reefs, but be sure to head ashore to stroll the white sands, explore the lush rainforest, and enjoy water sports at the Green Island Resort. 

Fitzroy Island

Just a 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns, Fitzroy Island is a prime destination for an action-packed day trip. The island’s No. 1 beach is Nudey Beach, where adventurous travelers can dive in to swim and snorkel, cruise the coast on a glass-bottomed boat tour, rent paddleboards and paddle skis, or even try out a floating trampoline.

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8 Tours and Activities

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Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

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Explore the Great Barrier Reef and a lush island rain forest on this full-day catamaran tour to Green Island from Cairns. Create your own perfect day on this protected coral cay with a variety of activities including snorkeling, scuba diving, Seawalking, nature walks, and tours on a glass-bottom boat. Upgrade to include a delicious buffet lunch on board the catamaran and/or a ride in a semi-submarine. It’s a fantastic way to discover the underwater wonders of the world’s most famous reef!
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.40
From
$68.40

Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns
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Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

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Explore the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef on a full-day tour to Fitzroy Island. After arriving from Cairns on a fast ferry, have free time to do what you choose: snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, lounge on the white-sand beach or see the coral from a glass-bottom boat. Upgrade to add the Activity Pass Plus Lunch, which provides a picnic lunch, snorkeling gear, stinger suit, a glass-bottom boat tour.
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$58.43
From
$58.43

Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, and Daintree Rainforest Premium Day Tour

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Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, and Daintree Rainforest Premium Day Tour

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326
Venture off-the-beaten-track and explore the UNESCO-listed wilderness of Australia’s tropical north on this full-day tour from Cairns. Journey along the Captain Cook Highway; take a guided hike through the Mossman Gorge and cool off with a dip in the Mossman River. After lunch (included), look out for crocodiles on a scenic cruise down the Daintree River, then continue to Cape Tribulation to trek through the Daintree Rainforest and enjoy magnificent views over the Great Barrier Reef. This small-group tour is limited to 14 people for a personalized experience.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$162.45
$171.00
$8.55 savings
From
$162.45
$171.00
$8.55 savings

Green Island Day Trip Including Seawalker Helmet Dive COMBO
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Green Island Day Trip Including Seawalker Helmet Dive COMBO

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If visiting the ancient coral cay of Green Island for the day wasn’t great enough, add a seawalker helmet dive to your package. Take a super-fast catamaran from Cairns to the island and choose between the use of snorkeling gear or a glass-bottom boat ride (included). Add more fun to the day by donning a glass helmet and taking a guided walk on the seabed, surrounded by coral and tropical fish while keeping your head dry.
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  • 5 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$181.05
From
$181.05

Green Island Eco Adventure from Cairns
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Green Island Eco Adventure from Cairns

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If you want to enjoy a tropical island beach paradise from Cairns but don’t have a lot of time, this half or full-day trip to Green Island is ideal. Be transported by fast catamaran from Cairns to save time. Choose between a glass-bottomed boat tour or the use of snorkeling equipment. Get access to the island’s pool or take a self-guided walk of the island if you want to be more active.
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  • 5 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$72.68
From
$72.68

Fly to Green Island - Cruise Return

Fly to Green Island - Cruise Return

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Departing Cairns, enjoy a scenic helicopter flight to Green Island - a beautiful 6,000-year-old coral cay located within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. With its reef and rainforest environment enjoy a half day or full day in nature's lover paradise before returning to Cairns via catamaran.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$363.97
From
$363.97

Ocean Free Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise, Cairns 25 guests
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Ocean Free Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise, Cairns 25 guests

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Sail on a 2-masted schooner from Cairns to Green Island for a full day of snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Have a choice of options for exploring Green Island, spending time in the water around the magnificent coral reefs, walking in the rain forest, or lazing on the white sandy beaches. Enjoy the expertise of the superb crew, in addition to buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea and a glass of wine as you cruise back to Cairns.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$152.12
From
$152.12

Fitzroy Island Catamaran Transfers from Cairns

Fitzroy Island Catamaran Transfers from Cairns

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Departing daily from Cairns Marina, a short 45 minute ride in our air-conditioned catamaran will take you to the tropical paradise of Fitzroy Island. Fitzroy Island is favourite trip for Cairns' locals with 99% of its landscape covered in lush tropical rainforest as well as granite outcrops, open woodlands, mangroves and coral beaches. Learn more about the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef with a visit to Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre or the Reef Restoration coral nursery, take a bushwalk to the Summit or Lighthouse, snorkel straight off the beach or simply relax on the sandy shores of the famous Nudey Beach - voted the best beach in Australia. Our Fitzroy Island Transfers give you 6 hours to explore this paradise. Or, for the ultimate tropical island and reef experience combine it with a Moore Reef Daily cruise and save.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.14
From
$59.14